Ok, so we just went on a jewelry buying spree!!! As much as we'd love to fill our stores with stunning solid gold...it's just not practical with the outrageous soaring prices. We usually opt for the Gold Filled, Gold Vermeil or sometimes even the Gold Plate version. What's the difference, you say? We're so glad you asked!
A base metal such as steel or brass is dipped into a bath of electroplating solution, with a lump of solid gold. When an electric current is applied, a thin layer of gold is deposited on the metal. Since the plating is quite thin, the plate (and hence the color) on findings can wear off.
The concept is the same as gold plating but rather than steel or brass, sterling silver is the base metal. Gold Vermeil is comparable to solid gold in appearance and because it's main composition is of sterling silver, it will not cause allergic reactions.
Gold-filled: also called rolled-gold
These jewelry pieces are not actually filled with gold! They are made of a base metal (usually brass or copper) covered by sheets of gold in a mechanical bonding process. Effectively a thick coat of gold: the gold content is 5% or 1/20 of the total weight. Use gold-filled items for your top-of-the-line jewelry. Usually made with 14k gold, it is hard wearing. With reasonable care it will not peel or flake, and should last as long as solid 14k gold jewelry. It is safe for most people with sensitive skin.
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So basically to clear up the confusion, the difference in plate, vermeil and filled is simply the thickness of the gold and the base metal used! Pretty simple, huh?
Thanks for joining us today for a little lesson on gold!